It's easy to appreciate the beautiful makeup on the faces in magazines; what might not be so easy is achieving that same look at home. Unlike the magazine models, most of us don't have the services of a professional makeup artist at our disposal, so the task of applying picture-perfect makeup can seem a little daunting.
We asked Sharon Gault, a professional makeup artist with over 20 years of experience, to share her secrets. She broke it down into 10 easy steps, and now anyone can apply flawless makeup too.
Hydrating the skin
Hydrating the skin is a simple, but very important, first step. It gives you the smooth and supple skin that is ideal for applying makeup. First spray clean skin with water or a spray fixative, then liberally apply moisturiser.
Use a primer to prepare your skin for the concealer and foundation. Apply all over the face and neck. With a primer, makeup goes on better and lasts longer. Primers can also help to minimise pores.
Use concealer to cover problem areas on the skin such as redness, spots or blemishes. Pat onto the skin wherever needed. Concealers come in different tints. In this case, Gault uses a yellow-based concealer to even out the red areas on the model's face.
Now that the skin is hydrated and primed and the trouble spots have been dealt with, it's time to apply the foundation. Select a colour that's as close as possible to your natural skin tone. Apply all over the face and blend into the neck. You can keep layering it to create an even look across your face, but be sure that it's smoothly applied and well-blended. You want it to be invisible to the eye. The idea is to create a flawless, balanced finish.
Contouring -- highlighter and bronzer
Using highlighter and bronzer helps contour the face to create shape and definition. Bronzer should be a warm colour that's a bit darker than your natural skin tone. Highlighter is brighter. Sweep bronzer under the cheekbone and continue up along the hairline. Then apply highlighter right on the cheekbone. You'll have instant killer cheekbones. You can also help define your jaw by adding bronzer just beneath the jawline. Regardless of the feature you choose to enhance, be subtle. You don't want to overdo it with bronzer.
Blush gives you a nice, rosy glow. While smiling, apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend back toward the hairline. As with everything, you don't want any noticeable splotches of makeup. Blend well. Be sure to avoid applying blush below the cheekbone. This will not result in a natural look.
This may not be a technique you've employed before, but defining the eyebrows really makes the eyes pop. Here, Gault uses a pencil that is a slightly lighter shade than the model's eyebrow. This helps make her eye colour more vibrant and brings out the lighter tones in her hair. Follow the natural shape of the eyebrow and fill it in. Avoid anything too dark or over-the-top. You just want to enhance your natural brow line.
Eyes -- shadow and liner
The next step is a big one: the eyes. In this step, you'll apply shadow, liner and mascara. It's all about making the eyes the focal point of your face. For a natural look, you'll want to use neutral tones like earthy browns. Start with the shadow. Apply a light brown all over the lid and crease. Then use a darker brown along the crease and lid. Start at the outer corner of the eye and work the shadow along the crease and the edge of the lid. This will create depth and elongate the eye. Again, make sure all the shadow is blended well so there are no visible lines. Next, you'll add brown liner to the lid along the lash line. Apply from the outside in. Be sure to soften the line after you've applied it.
con't: Eyes -- mascara
Now that your eyes have depth, it's time to make them really stand out with a few coats of mascara. If you have an eyelash curler, use that on the lashes before applying any mascara. When you apply the mascara, be sure to coat and separate every last lash. Use a clean mascara brush, free of clumps.
To complete this natural look, all you have to do is finish up with the lips. For a daytime look, you'll want to choose a neutral shade. First use a pencil to line the lips. This will create your lip shape. Then apply a coat of lipstick, and finish off with a matching gloss. It's best to use a brush to apply the lipstick so you'll have more control.
Day to night
The final step is transitioning your daytime makeup into something more glamorous for evening. It may look like a whole new look, but it's actually just three easy steps. First add more blush. Then apply black liquid eyeliner for more dramatic eyes. Finally, go for a classic red lip. With a few items you can carry in your purse, you're able to go from day to night in no time.